Research Topic

The Impact of Psychology and Neuroscience on Theories of Identification and Liking in the Humanities

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About this Research Topic

Many recent studies have shown how the mainly humanities domains of (i) culture, e.g. literature, poetry, painting, dance, theatre, music, sculpture, and (ii) communication, e.g. language, media, rhetoric, can benefit from mainstream and emerging psychological, cognitive and neurobiological insights, ...

Many recent studies have shown how the mainly humanities domains of (i) culture, e.g. literature, poetry, painting, dance, theatre, music, sculpture, and (ii) communication, e.g. language, media, rhetoric, can benefit from mainstream and emerging psychological, cognitive and neurobiological insights, arguments, and methods. Numerous avenues have been explored including neurocognitive poetics, cognition and music, neuro-aesthetics, etc. Two related thematic areas that arguably warrant further and deeper investigation pertain to the concepts of ‘liking’ and ‘identification.’ This will be the focus of this Research Topic.

We all have preferences, some things we like, others we don't, some people we love, while hating others. This is such a universal phenomenon that we hardly devote time to realising how important it is. The underlying psychological processes we let automatically make decisions for us. They guide our behaviour and our choices, actually they make – or break – our lives. The concepts of liking and identification are equally relevant to cultural objects like protagonists that appear in novels, iconic art works or landmarks, and also to components in communicative processes, like the Aristotelian notion of ethos in classical rhetorical theory.

This Research Topic will be approached from a number of disciplines. We call for theoretical and empirical contributions from linguistics, rhetoric, perception psychology, emotion psychology, cognitive science, embodied/situated cognition and phenomenology. We can think of a range of cultural and communicative application areas where issues of liking and identification can be studied within a cognitive and/or neurocognitive framework including literature, the visual arts, music, dance, past and present material culture, speech making, news/political discourse, consumer products, advertising, food, etc. The roles of consciousness and non-consciousness, emotion and cognition, and memory, motor action and perception will undoubtedly be of significance in the papers that will appear in this Research Topic.


Keywords: cognitive science, communication, culture, embodied cognition, emotion, identification, liking, linguistics, mind, perception, phenomenology, rhetoric, situated cognition


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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